and an internal restructuring of programs to enhance mission achievement. The domestic violence, homicide and rape crisis services were combined into a cohesive Victim Services program that provided crisis intervention, legal representation and short-term residential services to people who had experienced sexual assault, intimate partner battering, child maltreatment or loss of a loved one to homicide. Counseling for sexual assault victims was combined with all other forms of counseling into Clinical Services, providing consistent services across all sites. Economic Independence continued to offer budget counseling, debt repayment plans, reverse mortgage counseling, mortgage foreclosure counseling and bankruptcy counseling.
United Family Services' commitment to the Children and Family Services Center collaboration was strengthened when six agencies in the building formed a managed service organization called Shared Services. This expanded the collaboration of shared space and technology to include the back office functions of human resources and finance.
The Legal Representation Project expanded to include a full-time attorney and part-time paralegal through a grant provided by the Women's Impact Fund. Local attorneys from multiple firms provided pro bono legal representation for clients. Additionally, the attorneys supervised students from the Charlotte School of Law, increasing UFS' capacity to serve additional clients while training the next generation of attorneys in our community.
UFS received a two year grant totaling $65,078 from Kate B. Reynolds for the community-based counseling program at the Ada Jenkins Center. The grant allowed UFS to serve 200 children and adults who would otherwise be unable to access or afford counseling services. Services were available in both English and Spanish.
The Capital Campaign Steering Committee was formed and began meeting in January. In February the "silent" phase of the campaign kicked off with staff and board making the initial campaign gifts and pledges totaling over $265,000. The Building Committee engaged John R. McAdams to begin preliminary site testing in the spring. A land appraisal was completed and UFS entered into a Purchase and Sale Agreement with the Charlotte Rescue Mission to purchase the West Boulevard property. UFS worked with Carolina PR to create collateral campaign materials including a compelling video featuring domestic violence survivors. Jenkins Peer was selected to provide architectural services and RT Dooley/Balfour Beatty committed to provide construction services at cost yielding an estimated savings of $200,000. UFS held two community meetings in the West Boulevard Corridor and received a welcoming response from the neighborhood. Zoning determination was received from the City shortly thereafter. The campaign was announced to the public on November 7th at the UFS 100 year anniversary gala. Later in November UFS held its first cultivation event for the campaign. At the end of the year several major gifts were received from the City Housing Trust Fund, Wachovia-Wells Fargo, the Levine Foundation and Bank of America.
In early 2010, the first draft of the new shelter schematic renderings was completed. These were revised several times and reached the final version by summer. Meanwhile UFS continued holding cultivation events in homes as well as two larger events that were sponsored by Wachovia-Wells Fargo. By mid-year UFS received a large gift from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency and the campaign surpassed the $5 million mark. The land was purchased in July and an official groundbreaking was held in conjunction with the Charlotte Rescue Mission in October to celebrate the initiation of site work. In November UFS held its first legal cultivation event for women attorney's and created the Barrister's Society, a giving circle uniquely designed for attorneys donating to the campaign.
In July, Mark Pierman stepped down as President/CEO of the Agency after 10 years of Service. Mark was instrumental in the growth of UFS during the 1st decade of the 21st century and played a key role in the Shared Services model the agency adopted in 2009 and the launching of the capital campaign for the new Shelter outlined above. Jean Davis, a member of the Board and on the Executive Committee, resigned her Board position, to serve as interim President/CEO while a search for the new CEO was conducted. The search was completed in late 2010.
Phil Kline joined the agency January 3, 2011 as President/CEO. The capital campaign continued throughout 2011 and vertical construction began at the end of the year. In spring 2011 the agency implemented an intensive strategic planning process. This work reaffirmed some assumptions and helped crystalize the necessary next steps to build an even stronger organization. United Family Services' depth of experience and professional, evidenced-based treatment and counseling programs for trauma and victim services were determined to become the organization's key focus areas. United Family Services also analyzed its economic independence services and decided that, while these were important, they may be housed more efficiently and effectively elsewhere. United Family Services approached Community Link to consider operating these services and the transfer was initiated.
United Family Services determined that moving forward the focus would be on providing a continuum of critical crisis services to those victimized by domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse or homicide in Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, South Iredell and Union counties. It was decided that the agency would continue to offer 24 hour crisis lines, shelter, a children's advocacy center, safety planning services, hospital accompaniment, case management, systems advocacy, support groups, court advocacy/accompaniment and legal representation. Additionally United Family Services would continue expanding trauma informed counseling for those struggling with emotional crisis and deliver these services to individuals, couples and families. Additionally the agency would continue to provide educational and prevention programs as well as institutional advocacy efforts.
In 2012, United Family Services continues implementing the strategic plan and Economic Independence Services was transferred to Community Link in February. Additionally the Partners in Parenting Program was transferred to the Children's Home Society in March.
The capital campaign to build the new domestic violence shelter continued and over $8.5 million was raised toward the $10.6 million campaign goal. Vertical construction was initiated at the end of December 2011.
On November 27, 2012, United Family Services announced its new brand: Safe Alliance, Where Hope & Healing Begin.
The new Clyde and Ethel Dickson Domestic Violence Shelter opened in January 2013. Safe Alliance continued growing its trauma-based services and also developed a targeted marketing plan to strengthen its Employee Assistance Program and clinical services. The Board of Directors decided to initiate a new giving society to recognize major donors and the Lotus Society was introduced in August. Safe Alliance also had its first annual luncheon in October with keynote speakers Ron and Jan Kimble.
Two of the agency signature events Art with Heart and Men for Change celebrated significant milestones with both reaching
$1 million raised for Safe Alliance in 2014. The counseling team participated in a number of learning collaboratives, strengthening their skills to offer innovative, evidence-based solutions to adults and children seeking therapeutic services. The rape crisis team changed its name to the Sexual Trauma Resource Center to better describe the myriad of comprehensive crisis and longer term trauma counseling and advocacy services for adult and child survivors of sexual assault. The domestic violence shelter continued a second year of strong operations in its new facility and the shelter was paid off in November. At the end of the year Phil Kline, President & CEO, announced that he would be retiring from the Safe Alliance and the Board of Directors appointed Karen Parker as the new President & CEO effective January 1st, 2015.
In 2015 the Safe Alliance Board of Directors and Senior Leadership made a strategic decision to focus on sexual assault and domestic violence services in Mecklenburg County and Lake Norman. Safe Alliance transferred the Tree House Children's Advocacy Center and Sexual Trauma Resource Center in Union County to our sister organization Turning Point. We transferred our Sexual Trauma Resource Center in Cabarrus County to another sister organization, Esther House. Companies who contracted with us for the Employee Assistance Program were given the opportunity to make a seamless transition to another provider. Safe Alliance identified a comprehensive list of appropriate general counseling options for our departing clients. Major components of the transition were completed by summer 2015.
This decision represented the crystallization of Safe Alliance's mission to provide hope and healing to people in crisis and the evolution of our strategy and direction. We chose to proactively focus on Mecklenburg County and Lake Norman in order to ensure that we are delivering the highest quality services thus yielding the greatest impact for our clients and the community, while maintaining our financial stability for years to come.
2016 was an exciting year for Safe Alliance; one that saw many positive financial outcomes as a result of the changes made in the previous year. We created a capital expenditure report for our Domestic Violence Shelter that will ensure stronger financial planning, and we revised our budget process to provide a clearer and more manageable budget plan. These accomplishments will contribute to a more reliable, stable financial structure for our organization.
We also saw many accomplishments within our programs and services. In the summer of 2016 we implemented the co-location of staff from Mecklenburg County Community Support Services, strengthening our relationship with an already significant partner agency. This allowed us to maintain and increase clinical services for our Shelter clients, as well as provide real-time, client-centered services within our new Community Living Team. We received a transitional housing grant that will allow us to provide transitional services for 20 families through a partnership with Community Link. We were able to expand the Lethality Assessment Program to 6 municipalities in Mecklenburg County. Our Victim Assistance office implemented a new screening process, new ways of serving male clients, and began offering appointment options. In our Sexual Trauma Resource Center, we developed a Prison Rape Elimination Act agreement with the Sheriff's Department. Additionally, we moved our Lake Norman office to provide a stronger community presence. During 2016 we also launched a new website, created a Spanish Speaker's Bureau, and increased our social media activity including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
In 2016 we began making plans for our future, and taking a more visible stance on more community and national issues. In March we completed the planning process of a new, three-year strategic plan that will take us through fiscal year 2020. The strategic plan priorities are to: solidify and invest in existing programs and geographic focus; implement a sustainable financial model with a balanced budget; stabilize and invest in our staff; and position Safe Alliance to be a national leader in client-focused, trauma-informed programming. Additionally, we created our first Strategic Plan and Advocacy Guide to highlight these goals. Internally, we created a task force on dismantling racism to identify areas we could help address this issue in our community. We also expanded our position as a thought leader in the community, creating position statements on Sexual Violence/Rape Culture, Dismantling Racism, and support of LGBTQ Survivors.